"The Ponytail Girl" -- a nickname that has followed Mandy Oakes for the last 15 years of competitive racing and over 1,000 long runs. Running is Mandy's happy place. It has kept her grounded through growing her own fitness business Sweat Franklin, which features a variety of high velocity workouts, and through the adventures of raising two boys. Whether it's teaching dance fitness classes, leading a group run, or blogging, it's been Mandy's mission for more than a decade to share her excitement for exercise with others. It's personally fulfilling for her to see people transform through getting healthy.
Mandy has competed in over 70 races from 5k to marathon, winning the Overall Female title in 14 of those races and securing a spot as the Top 3 Overall Female Finisher in 20 of them. Mandy has played an integral role on various Franklin race committees over the years, with the most recent being bringing the inaugural Boot Run 5k to Nashville, a race that benefits returning warriors and their families who have been impacted by PTSD and combat stress.
In addition to running, Mandy has participated in all forms of dance since her youth. This year, Mandy was certified by Billy Blanks, Jr. in Dance with Me -- the newest fitness-based dance workout that is sweeping the nation. Dance with Me is creating a following with its high-energy cardio workouts that expose participants to all styles of dance, including Bollywood, Irish, African, Hula, Disco, Broadway, Hip Hop and more. Mandy is the first person in Tennessee to be certified to teach this dance fitness program. Passionate about building self-esteem and making dance less intimidating for young women, Mandy has taken the Dance with Me program into the Williamson County School System, providing girls of all ages with the opportunity to embrace dance on a unified and non-competitive level.
Mandy is also a contributing writer for ACTIVEBUYS.com, a national online resource for active and healthy living.